Powerboat races on Manatee River a bad idea

March 14, 2014 

Formula 2 Powerboats could be racing down the Manatee River as part of a planned regatta in January 2015 from the organizers of the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta. Photo by Archie Carpenter

PICASA

Call me a party pooper. Call me anti-crowd. You would be correct.

I recently sat in traffic on the Green Bridge headed south and wondered what our community leaders are thinking when they proposed a Formula 2 powerboat race January 30-31, 2015 on our Manatee River!

Some of these other Green Bridge captive sitters were probably part of the thousands trying to get to McKechnie Field for the Pittsburgh Pirates game.

What will we do with the expected 75,000 people lining the Riverwalk and the Palmetto shore to watch powerboats going 120 to 125 miles an hour?

Could we stop and think beyond the $8-$10 million dollar anticipated revenue? Who calls this river home and playground? Our county namesake, manatees, along with dolphins and other creatures do.

Recently, in the Orlando area, two young men were charged with "harassing an endangered species," a manatee mother and her calf. They face up to a year in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Think about it. Why are we entertained by speed and disrespect for our natural resources?

What would Carl Hiaasen and Jimmy Buffett have to say about this ill-conceived plan to disrespect the manatees, dolphins and other river creatures for entertainment and profit?

Terrie Hodges

Bradenton

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